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E-Filing Reference Guide

Before You Start

1. Check the eligibility information at the top of Forms Currently Available to see if e-Filing is the right filing option for you.

2. Check your system requirements:

  • Do you have a recent version (8 or higher) installed on your computer?
  • Do you have Netscape (version 4.7 or higher) or Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or higher) installed on your computer?
  • Can you print your application and Confirmation Receipt notice or save it to your computer?

3. Read the Form-Specific e-Filing Instructions for the immigration form you want to file.

4. Register for your e-Filing User Account. Filling Out Your Application

5. Make sure you have all required information at hand before beginning your session.

  • Have your credit card, debit card, or bank account and routing number available to pay the filing fee if necessary.

Filling Out Your Application

1. Follow the instructions provided through your e-Filing session to complete your application(s).

2. USCIS has identified some common errors that have resulted in processing delays and overpayment of fees. Please read Avoiding Common E-Filing Mistakes: Understanding E-Filing System Messages to help you through the e-Filing process.

3. Determine if your application has been successfully submitted to USCIS.

Your application has been successfully filed and received by USCIS if:

  • You received a Receipt Number on the web Confirmation Reciept Page AND your application no longer appears in your list of saved applications on the My Forms screen; OR,
  • You received a Form I-797, Notice of Action, through the mail within 10 days of e-Filing your application. Form I-797 will have your Confirmation Receipt Number printed on it.

Your application may not have been successfully filed and submitted if:

  • "Pending" appears under "Status" on the My Forms screen ("Pending" means the application has not yet been completed or filed); OR,
  • "Action Needed" appears under "Status" on the My Forms screen ("Action Needed" means that there may have been a problem with your transaction. See Understanding E-Filing System Messages for information on next steps.).

After Filling Out Your Application

1. Please write down the Receipt Number provided on the web Confirmation Page before clicking the "Finish" button to generate a PDF copy of your submittted application.

2. Save your completed application and Confirmation Receipt Notice on your computer or a USB flash drive. To do this, click on File and then Save As... on the toolbar at the top of your Adobe Reader. Select "Portable Document Format (*.pdf) from the "Save as type" drop-down box.

  • PLEASE NOTE: If you did not write down or print your receipt number, please wait approximately 10 days for the arrival of your Form I-797, Notice of Action. Form I-797 will have your Confirmation Reciept Number printed on it.

3. Print your completed application and Confirmation Receipt by clicking on File and then Print on the toolbar at the top of your Adobe Reader, or by using the printer icon at the top left of the toolbar.

4. Review the Form Specific e-Filing Instructions for the application you wish to file to determine which documents, if any, you may need to provide to support your application.

  • Review the Submitting Supporting Documentation for more information.

5. If you are e-Filing Form I-90, I-131, or Form I-765, see Photographs and Fingerprints.

  • For these applications, USCIS cannot process your application until you have met the requirements described in Photographs and Fingerprints.

6. Check the status of your application online at the USCIS homepage where you may "Check Case Status." Information should be available 48 - 72 hours after you e-File.

This page can also be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/e-filingreferenceguide

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/28/2011